> INTRODUCTION > History > NA in the past
Democracy has become a familiar word to Koreans, but it was only through great struggle that democracy in Korea was able to blossom.
And throughout the trials and challenges, the National Assembly has stood by the people. Indeed, the triumph over pain and hardship during the National Assembly's half-century journey represents the very essence of democracy's evolution on Korean soil: countless trials and tribulations, as well as glory and fulfillment.
In April 1919, carrying forward the spirit of democracy and the self-determination of the March 1st Independence Movement, the nation's leaders gathered in Shanghai to convene a Provisional Legislative Council.
In this precursor of the National Assembly, the people’s hopes for the future were kept alive.
The council elected Lee Dong-nyong as Chairman and Rhee Syngman as Prime Minister, and adopted ten articles of the Provisional Charter of the Nation of the Korean People, thus establishing the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Breaking with the five thousand-year history of the nation, the Provisional Charter stipulated that the motherland, once liberated, would be a democratic republic, based on freedom and equality.
By introducing ideals of democracy, the Charter gave the future parliament of the nation the leading role in the realization of democracy. Article 2 of the Provisional Charter stipulated that the Republic of Korea would be ruled by a Provisional Government, in accordance with the resolutions of the Provisional Legislative Council, thus making it clear that in representing the people, the Council’s function would be to make laws and to oversee the government, giving constructive criticism when needed.
National liberation came on August 15th, 1945. On December 12th, 1946, the South Chosun Provisional Legislative Council was convened to write the National Assembly Election Law, thus laying the cornerstone in the building of an independent nation.